ALEXANDER VOK HGHBOLDT 233 her way "back to her home by land. But her mater- nal heart longed for those children, who had accom- panied the father on the day she was carried off. In despair she, with her children, made several attempts at flight, but was overtaken, mercilessly whipped, and, at last, separated from her two infants. She was taken up the river Atabo into the missions of Rio Negro. Loosely bound, and not "knowing what fate awaited her, she sat in the forepart of the vessel. She* succeeded in breaking her bonds, sprang into the water, and swam towards the left shore: the current drove her against a rock where she hid among tibe bushes. But the missionary landed his Indian ser- vants, the miserable woman was brought back, cruelly scourged, her hands bound fast behind her back, and thus she was dragged to the Christian mission of Gavita. It was the rainy season, and the nights were dark; on account of the impassability of the forests, the rivers are the only means of communi- cation between village and village. Maternal love urged the chained woman to attempt the apparently impossible, for she felt but the one desire to liberate her children, and take them back to the others at home. She was unmatched—as her arms were bleeding, the Indian servants of the Christian missionary had from pity, secretly loosened her thongs; with her teeth she separated them entirely. The next morning she had disappeared, and was seen four days after, near San Fernando, where her children were im- prisoned in the mission. She had passed through the woods at a season when the sky is always covered with clouds, and the rivers overflowing ; she had often been obliged to swim, often to make her way, bleeding, through the prickly bushes, and had lived only on large black ants. The Christian missionary rewarded her unheard of courage by imprisoning her in a mission on the Orinocco, where, despairing of seeing her beloved children again, she refused ail food, and iiied.